Shooting for the stars
Sophomore Madelyne Alorro watches makeup artists hurriedly press powder on her co-stars and listens to the dull clamor of the other actors and actresses chatting while producers whisper to each other behind the cameras, watching the set intently. Suddenly, everyone goes quiet, and Alorro hears the director yell, “ACTION!” Now, she’s someone else entirely.
Alorro is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of show business, acting in Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows such as “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn” and “Sydney to the Max.”
Alorro’s interest in acting began in seventh grade when she attended the Orange County School of the Arts. There, she auditioned for an acting showcase that connected her with her current agent and manager from Don Buchwald Agency and Consortium Entertainment.
“Things like my appearance and social media really depend on my managers now. I just started using Instagram two years ago because they were afraid that my account could affect my auditions and how casting directors see me,” Alorro said. “I have to be careful of what I put out. You see all those private videos of celebrities being leaked out that ruin their image, so that’s why I’m very conscious of what I wear, what I do and what I look like so it doesn’t come back to haunt me later in the future.”
On set, Alorro was able to form friendships with the other co-stars her age. Although she was a bit intimidated by the difference in experience, Alorro was nevertheless able to relate with the other actors, talking about school and acting; they also gave her advice about the acting industry and what to expect later down the road.
“There’s the whole image of how Hollywood is fake, but [acting] really opened my eyes because I got to meet such genuine people,” Alorro said. “It taught me to not judge others based on that image or their appearance.”
Alorro’s mother, who had previously been an actress as well, has played a pivotal role in Alorro’s acting career, coaching and critiquing her performances. She also frequently accompanies Alorro to live auditions to provide her with emotional support.
“Good acting requires the actor or actress to be fully submerged in the character, to the point of them believing they’re the character and not themselves,” Alorro said. “When my mom watches me act, she can tell when I’m in the moment of the scene and fully in character or when I’m just faking it.”
To audition for a role, Alorro can either do a live audition, where she delivers the lines in front of casting directors, or send in an audition tape, filming herself giving the lines with the help of her agent. Alorro’s two major roles so far have been on the Nickelodeon show “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn” in the episode “Leader of the Stack” as Tami and the Disney show “Sydney to the Max” in the episode “Adventures in Babe-Sitting” as Whitney. Alorro had auditioned in-person for the first role and sent in a tape for the second.
“I was shocked [that I got these roles] because I am Asian, and they usually go for Caucasian actors,” Alorro said. “When I auditioned, it lessened the pressure because if I didn’t get in, it was because of my looks, which I can’t change. But at the same time, it was going to be harder for me because sometimes I wouldn’t get the role I wanted.”
For “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” Alorro was originally cast for a different part on a different episode. However, when she first went to set, the directors told her that she did not match the appearance of the other characters she was acting with. She was later given the role she played, specifically written in.
“I was so sad. Because of how I looked, they didn’t want me. I couldn’t change that for them.” Alorro said. “I laid in bed for an hour just thinking about it after. My mom talked to me and told me I can’t change it. Because I can’t change it, I don’t have to worry about it so much. It’s not up to me, and whatever happens happens.”
Alorro’s agent and manager seek out roles for her and notify her of potential opportunities in Los Angeles. The months of January and February are known as a pilot season, in which stand-alone episodes of series are filmed and used to sell the show to a television network. This is when Alorro is busiest, often having only a day to respond to her agent and manager, memorize lines, and familiarize herself with the character she will play for her different auditions.
“I wasn’t that passionate about acting before, but when I got my first job, I wanted to pursue this career because I had such a great experience by meeting so many new people and being on set with all of the cameras,” Alorro said.
Driven by the thrill of seeing herself on television and the meaningful connections she’s formed on set, Alorro is working to pursue acting as a professional career in the future.
“After the ‘Sydney to the Max’ episode was done filming, I came home and i was just extremely sad. I actually didn’t know I was sad, but after I talked it out with my mom, I realized I was sad because I had left the set and would never see some of those people ever again,” Alorro said. “That’s when I realized I really wanted to keep acting. I loved the experience so much of staying on set and meeting all these different kinds of new people.”
By Natalie Jiang, Staff writer
Photo Courtesy of Tristan Gonzalez